Virtualization Technology News and Information
Carbonite 2020 Predictions: Protecting Your Data in 2020

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Hal Lonas, Chief Technology Officer, Carbonite

Protecting Your Data in 2020

In a hyper-connected world, protecting data proves to be a challenge with rapid information growth, unreliable recovery and evolving threats. These looming issues beg the question of how exactly to tackle data protection and build business resilience. In 2020, companies and individuals will face new data protection obstacles requiring a focus on resiliency and education, move to cloud as a superior backup option and look at how world events will change the data protection landscape.

Bringing in the cloud can be a valuable defense

Cloud backup has proven to be a valuable defense against ransomware - in 2019 alone, over 600 ransomware attacks took place against government agencies, educational institutions and healthcare providers. As we anticipate increases in those numbers in the coming year, organizations will look for new ways to protect their valuable data and will move towards a multi-pronged cloud backup approach.

The first step will be putting in place a robust prevention and detection system. A solid perimeter will be key to prevent attacks; however, as not all threats can be prevented, detection in a timely manner will prove to be paramount.

A common misconception we have seen in the past months and years is that all existing threats are malicious attacks. However, we are well aware of non-malicious issues such as accidental deletion of files by employees. Debunking that myth allows us to take the second step. This is where backup comes into play to support rapid recovery, and even more critically, it acts as a failover plan that enables interim operations in the cloud, while issues within the primary systems are being address.

Uniting security, data protection and education for greater resiliency

Recently, we have seen many organizations implement enterprise data loss prevention without realizing the full value of a complete enterprise security platform, one that could track and control unstructured data movement across networks, endpoints and storage repositories. Now, businesses are realizing that no matter the amount or type of data they protect, attackers always seem to be one step ahead, even more with cybercriminals causing disruption in areas where they can have a financial outcome.

In fact, a recent study from MediaPro found that 8% of respondents said they were unsure if a cybercriminal stealing names, addresses and birth dates was a reportable privacy incident, therefore showcasing the need for education around this issue. To support the availability and security of corporate and personal data, companies will have to prioritize the first security level between the company and the broader internet and further educate the weakest link in data protection, the human factor.

The most unguarded doors in the organization are the users and although companies have spent large sums in the fortification of data centers, users still receive thousands and thousands of emails a day, many of which are suspicious. In the coming year we will see how many organizations start to put education in the first line of fire to minimize socially targeted attacks. Educating users against phishing, preventing malware from being accessed over DNS and blocking malware from running and recovering the system will need to be a more important focus in 2020 and beyond.

Organizations must continue to implement all available security layers, including endpoint and network security. Beyond those basics, they should also focus on educating their users and also create a fully flushed out data security program that involves futureproofing data protection. These visionary organizations will benefit from a greater organizational resilience.

Looking to the future and the impact of climate change

Uninterrupted access to data and services is the golden standard nowadays; it is the basis of business continuity, and organizations that want to stay competitive will need to be as prepared as possible for unexpected downtime. To face unpredictable issues, which can range from a cyberattack to a natural disaster, the cloud will continue to be that reliable resource.

More organizations will put their trust in the cloud to be available and secure, and meet their business needs. A very real threat to those assets is climate change. It has been a trending topic for a long time, but it is now starting to play a critical role in cloud security and backup. Wildfires, floods, and power outages will become more prevalent; to face times of uncertainty it is better to trust an IaaS provider to provide resiliency across the threat spectrum rather than businesses and organizations attempting to solve this problem by themselves.  Organizations should also take advantage of game-changing availability and resilience by truly designing for the cloud, rather than just a "lift and shift" approach to moving assets to the cloud.

With these upcoming trends in mind, organizations that are willing to adapt will be better suited to face any data availability challenges they come across. Whether it is allowing users to have access to their information at all times or preventing potential ransomware attacks, they will have the peace of mind needed to protect, backup and recover their data if necessary.


About the Author

Hal Lonas, Chief Technology Officer, Carbonite

Hal Lonas 

A lifelong technologist and innovator, Hal Lonas brings more than 25 years of experience to his role as Chief Technology Officer for Carbonite. Hal oversees the engineering organization, driving the vision and strategy for technology and ensuring all technological resources are aligned with business needs. 

Previously, he was the Chief Technology Officer at Webroot, where he led the creation of the first cloud native security platform. This shift was instrumental in the evolution of Webroot and how it both created and distributed products. Hal is a well-known innovator in the machine learning space and a champion of automation in technology. In addition, he co-founded and was VP of Engineering for BrightCloud and has held key engineering management positions with Websense (WBSN), ADP and others. Hal also has co-authored several patents.

He holds a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. You can find him on Twitter @hlonas.

Published Thursday, December 26, 2019 7:45 AM by David Marshall
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